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Survey on the Social Status of Women in China
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2010-7-29
Title: Survey on the Social Status of Women in China

The Survey on the Social Status of Women in China, jointly sponsored by the All-China Women's Federation and National Statistics Bureau and organized by the Women's Studies Institute of China, is conducted every 10 years. The first phase was finished in 1990 and the second in 2000. The third round is to begin on December 1, 2010.

1. Purpose of the Survey:

A main aspect of women and gender studies, women's social status is a research subject of common concern during China's social transitional period. Adjustment of interest structure and resolution of deep contradictions is bound to have a profound impact on the concepts, behavior and status of all people, including women, especially during the present economic, political reform and social transitional process. A survey on women's social status must focus on issues of main social concern, such as whether or not the market mechanism will induce gender interest differentiation and whether or not women's development and gender equality can synchronize with economic development and modernization. Also how the social status of different groups of women changes according to the changing social structure, and whether or not gaps in social status and development of women in different regions has narrowed. To this end, the purpose of the survey is to comprehensively and accurately reflect the situation and changes in China's gender equality and women's development since 2000, conduct historical and inter-group comparisons on women's social status, analyze and explain factors and mechanisms affecting women's social status, explore the relationship between changes in social structure and women's social status, and assist Party and government in making social policy and national program for women's development.

2. Framework and Method

Women's social status is defined in the survey as the rights, resources and responsibilities of different groups of women as compared to those of men in social life and social relationships, and the social acceptability of their roles. Economy, politics, education, health, marriage and the family and legal status are identified as elements of women's social status and main indicators through which to measure women's status. The index system includes the nine indicators of economy, politics, education, health, social welfare, marriage and family, lifestyle, law and social gender. 
Statistics amassed in the questionnaire include those in the personal and community categories. The personal survey (third phase) targets Chinese citizens, other than in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, aged 15 to 79. The focus of the first and second phases is people in the 18-64 age range. The community survey targets village committees selected in the third phase. On the basis of overall analyses of respondents, the survey also conducts a special investigation of typical women's groups to reveal the impact on women's social status of China's social structure change. In addition to quantitative research, the survey also adopts qualitative research methods, such as in-depth interviews and group discussions and literature research methods, to supplement and enrich study materials.

Survey sampling includes the national-level basic scheme and provincial-level supplementary scheme. National sampling meets the needs of national analysis. Provincial sampling is done on the basis of national sampling to analyze women's status in different provinces (regions and municipalities). Both schemes adopt the probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling technique. An eligible member of each sample household is chosen through random methods to become the respondent. Half of the respondents are from rural areas and half are women. To ensure data representativeness and reliability, the survey adopts several effective measures to strengthen quality control, thus avoiding non-sampling error. Each record has been weighted separately according to region, city and township, household population and gender to enhance data representativeness.

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